February 5, 2016

After Negotiations, John Dyson ’65 Approves of Business College

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“We have agreed to and signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Provost and the dean of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,” John Dyson ’65 said in a Saturday address to the Board of Trustees.

The MOU will allow the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management to be a part of both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the recently approved College of Business, according to Dyson.

“The CALS dean will be involved with all major decisions, and in case of disagreement with the [College of Business] dean, issues will be resolved by the Provost,” Dyson said. “[It is] truly a shared school with a balanced mission between business and its traditional agricultural and NYS Land Grant missions.”

Approved by the Board of Trustees Saturday, the College of Business will merge the Dyson School, the School of Hotel Administration, and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Dyson addressed the Board of Trustees prior to their Saturday vote, explaining his concerns about the proposed College of Business and recounting his talks with Provost Michael Kotlikoff and Dean of CALS Kathryn Boor ’80.

Kotlikoff and Boor spoke with Dyson and his brother Peter Dyson continuously to work out details regarding the management and coordination of the Dyson School and the College of Business, according to John Dyson.

“Once I started discussions with the provost directly, I was sure we could arrive at an agreement,” John Dyson said. “He is a man of intelligence, honor and sincerity. We are very lucky to have him in this position.”

Discussions with Kotlikoff and Boor resolved John and Peter Dyson’s major concerns — CALS students in the Dyson school who are New York State residents will still pay in-state tuition, according to Dyson. In addition, the school’s faculty members and their tenured positions will remain in CALS.

“Peter and I are now reassured that the intentions of the administration under the proposal for the Dyson School and for CALS itself are to build upon their renowned excellence and to strengthen the Dyson School even further,” John Dyson told the Board of Trustees.

John Dyson was originally opposed to the College of Business after the University’s announcement on Dec. 14. Many students, faculty and alumni said they thought the administration lacked transparency and discussion with the Cornell community, and several alumni threatened to pull endowment funding if the College of Business was approved.

“A special committee could have been tasked with this consultation and careful study by the Board before recommending the amendment to the By-Laws,” John Dyson wrote in a letter to Board Trustee Leland Pillsbury ’69, prior to the Saturday vote and his speech.

This merger is not the only change the Dyson School has seen in the last five years. In 2010, the Department of Agricultural Economics was renamed after Charles H. Dyson — John and Peter Dyson’s father — following his family’s donation to the school.

“It was hard not to feel betrayed by a new plan altering an agreement made with me and my brother Peter only five years ago,” Dyson said in his address.

Dyson promised that he and his family will remain involved with the College of Business in the future.

“The Dysons do not just go away,” Dyson said. “I will be involved as much as the Dean of CALS needs me and will continue to help with funding needs. This agreement allows me to continue my 40 years as a trustee with confidence in the future.”